THE Zambia United Local Authority Workers Union (ZULAWU) has written to President Edgar Lungu over Government’s enactment of the Local Government Act No. 12 of 2014, which removes the role of the State in providing grants to district councils as contained in the Local Government Act No. 6 of 2010.
ZULAWU president Misheck Nyambose said the council workers have appealed to the Head of State to intervene by addressing the matter, adding that the situation was becoming a challenge to council workers.
Mr Nyambose said the council workers were heartbroken with Government’s decision to enact the Local Government Act of 2014.
“We have appealed to the Head of State to intervene in the matter because the situation is becoming very challenging.
‘‘The workers are living in suspense as to what is happening to them,” he said.
In September, 2014 ZULAWU and Government signed an agreement to consider transferring the payment of salaries onto Government payroll system.
Mr Nyambose said it was unacceptable that Government decided to amend the Local Government Act No.6 of 2010, which provides for the allocation of grants to district councils such as salary grants, fire services grants, grant in lieu of rates, restricting grants, and water and sanitation grants among other services.
Mr Nyambose said the enactment of the Local Government Act No. 12 of 2014 was done in bad faith, adding that it was done without consultation with the stakeholders.
He said the decision by Government to enact the Local Government Act No. 12 of 2014 did not recognize the input of stakeholders. “We do not know the intentions of the Ministry of Finance to change the law into the way they have put it and it is quite disheartening to the workers that such a thing can happen whose lives almost started getting better,” he said.
Last week, the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) appealed to President Lungu to intervene and rescind the decision by Government to stop providing salary grants to district councils.
ZCTU secretary general Cosmas Mukuka said the amendment of the Act of 2010 meant that district councils would now have to meet the cost of salaries but most councils did not have the capacity to pay salaries to its workers.